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greek civ paper - Whitney McNamara Andrew Miller Greek...

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Whitney McNamara Andrew Miller Greek Civilization 12/16/06 Final Exam: Take Home Essay One of the main types of Greek literature is the classic, tragedy. Unlike modern tragedies, when you long-lost lover goes into a coma, Greek tragedies happen on a much larger scale. Much of Greek literature comes from long, bloody wars and the consequences of them, such as deaths in mass proportion, being sold into slavery, wandering aimlessly around the world for several years and so on. One thing that leads to most of these large scale tragedies is when a leader possesses hubris , also known as pride, wanton arrogance, or reckless disregard of limits. A common theme is Homer’s Illiad, Aeschylus’s The Persians , and Euripides The Women of Troy is the use of hubris of a leader which leads to a tragic and unbearable end to many of his people. In Homer’s Iliad, many characters come to mind where arrogance is concerned. Paris, son of King Priam of Troy, is the definition of reckless abandonment and selfishness for his homeland. He steals the most desired, and already taken, women in the world from the Greeks, raging a ten year war in which his men die, women become widowed and children become fatherless. Paris shows hubris by his reckless nature. Knowing well in advance what enticing Helen back to his homeland will result in, he disregards this and follows his heart carelessly. When Hector scolds Paris for “cursing your father, your city, and all your people” by starting this war without thinking, Paris responds mundanely, “pit me against Menelaus dear to Ares—right between the lines--
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we’ll fight it out for Helen and all her wealth. Our people will live in peace on the rich soil of Troy, our enemies sail home to the stallion land of Argos…” This shows Paris’s complete arrogance to the fact that he cannot fight. He is rather feminine when it comes to hand to hand combat and the fact he is idealizing the situation shows how much
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